I have to be honest and say that I am firmly in the group of people that can appreciate the talent that it takes to be a player in a Mariachi band, but the type of music that these groups generally produce does tend to leave me a little cold.
However there are vast swathes of the population of the world that do enjoy this particular type of music and if you are one of them then there's absolutely no doubt that you'll be interested in the 5 Mariachis slot from Habanero Systems.
Although the title implies that this is about a particular band, in truth it is more a slot that is generally about Mexico itself, with the items on the reels all decorated in the vivid, bright colors you would expect from the celebrations in the country and many of the items on the reels linked specifically to Mexico, our favorite being the humble, but heat-packing red chili.
This is a slot game that is packed to the brim with bonus features, including a trio of progressive jackpot prizes, as well as plenty of in game bonuses you can unlock as you play. So, grab your tequila, strap on a sombrero and see if you can strike it big in the game played everywhere from Gambia to Guadalajara.
Where can I play the 5 Mariachis slot?
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The presentation of the 5 Mariachis slot is a rather cheerful looking Mexican town, which is obviously in the middle of a celebration as balloons are rising into the air from it. The five reels dominate the screen and the main controls of the slot are located at the foot of the page.
The sound is good and the fact that the reels are clear is a positive, especially on those smaller mobile device screens. However, I feel that the game isn't as spectacular looking as it could have been and that everything is a little to static and predictable. I think Habanero Systems played it safe with this slot and I think they should have perhaps taken a bit more of a risk and livened the presentation up a bit.
What's on the reels?
There are four lower value symbols on the reel and these are the playing card symbols and these offer wins ranging from 5 coins up to 125 coins. However, it is worth remembering that your minimum bet is 25 coins on this slot, so if you land a three or four symbol win using the lower value symbols, then you don't win back as much as you bet (and this happens a lot).
Slightly higher value symbols are the cactus, maracas, red chili, guitar and tequila bottles. These items offer wins ranging from 15 coins up to 500 coins but to start landing a profit you need to land four maracas or better to do so and that doesn't really happen too often in the base game, which is why despite regular wins, this is more a lower to medium variance slot.
There are two other symbols to look out for in the game, the Scatters and the substitute (wild) and these are linked to the main bonus features of the slot.
The Wild symbol is actually five different Wild symbols, each of the 5 Mariachis named in the title of the slot. Each symbol only appears on one reel and when in play, it can be used to substitute for any of the standard symbols in the game outlined in the section above.
However, when you land two or more of the Mariachi symbols on a winning line, then the number of symbols you land will add a multiplier of that value to the win. So if you land two Mariachi's on a winning line, you would receive a 2x multiplier. Three Mariachis would see you earn a 3x multiplier and so on.
Land the five Mariachi's across the reels and you would win the top prize of 500 coins, together with a 5x multiplier, which would give you the maximum base game win of 2,500 coins. That's not a huge amount when playing at 0.01 coins, but when your coins are 20.00 and you have wagered up to 10 on each line, that amount can be a huge sum of money.
Free Spins features
You trigger the Free Spins bonus when you land three or more of the Day of the Dead mask symbols anywhere across the reels. You receive 15 Free Spins in the bonus game and when you land one of the Mariachi symbols on the reels, it will turn into one of the symbols in the game to give you a chance of a bigger value win. You can also re-trigger the Free Spins feature from within the bonus game itself which is a positive (although doesn't happen that often).
Other bonus features
The other in game bonus feature is the Pinata Pick feature, which is triggered when you land three of the Pinata horse symbols n the middle three reels during the base game or Free Spins. When you do, you are taken to a selection screen where you get to pick one of the Pinata horses displayed which will then reveal a cash prize of between 2x and 100x your total bet.
The other bonus feature is the progressive jackpot funds, which are the Minor, Major and Grand jackpot, increasing in size as you progress. The jackpots cannot be won by anything happening on the reels as they are awarded entirely at random on selected spins.
Best feature of the 5 Mariachis slot
For me the sheer number of bonus features on the 5 Mariachis slot are what are going to appeal to players more so than the other items. The fact there is a Pick'em Bonus game as well as a Free Spins bonus, plus a big cash prize for landing Wilds across the reels and then two different progressive jackpot prizes to win does mean that players have plenty of targets to try and aim for when playing. For higher stakes players, I think the 5,000 per spin bet is also a real positive as few games offer such higher top end bets for the real higher rollers.
What does the 5 Mariachis slot lack?
There isn't a particular feature that the 5 Mariachis slot lacks for me, but I think that it hasn't quite got the balance right. The presentation is nice enough, but a little generic and stereotypical, I'd have liked to have seen the 5 Mariachis play a more prominent role, especially in the base game, rather than just Mexican themed items displayed. I think the base game, for lower stakes players, is a bit too punitive in terms of the low value pays and I think the bonus features are just a little too difficult to trigger. It's a pity as with a few small tweaks, this could have been a fabulous slot, as it is, it is good, but not great.
I think the 5 Mariachis slot is a game that will appeal to higher roller players who enjoy wagering larger amounts to try and win a prize, which could be as much as $500,000 if you wager the maximum amount per spin. For lower stakes players though, the appeal isn't as great, not because the jackpot prizes would be scaled down in size, but because the main game wins are very small in the main and although the bonuses, when triggered, can land you good value wins, it sometimes takes a while to trigger them, which is frustrating when playing on a budget. That's a pity as this game had lots going for it and could have been a classic.
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